Ready, set, shop!

November 21, 2012
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Here’s a news flash for those of you who have been hiding under a rock for the past month: Black Friday is upon us. Let the conspicuous consumption begin.

But before you blow the holiday budget on Midnight Madness deals and Tryptophan Thursday specials, independent shop owners want to make sure you know about Small Business Saturday.

Scheduled for Nov. 24, the three-year-old event sponsored by American Express is a pep rally of sorts for small retailers at risk of getting overlooked in the holiday frenzy.

I talked to more than a half-dozen local store owners this week, and every one of them said the promotion has increased consumers’ awareness—and their sales. (Click here for my story on what they're doing to attract shoppers.)

That’s particularly important now, when business is brisk enough to help retailers turn a profit for the year.

Homespun: Modern Homemade owner Amanda Taflinger, for example, said she uses proceeds from the holiday season to pre-pay rent on her Irvington shop and save cash to survive slow summer months.

“This is a critical time of year for us,” she said.

Results of the annual Small Business Consumer Insights Survey released this month showed that 67 percent of consumers aware of the promotion planned to “shop small” on Saturday. That’s up from 44 percent last year, according to American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Small retailers offer a different shopping experience than most big-box stores, and supporters say their success has more of an impact on the community.

Organizers of the national 3/50 Project say for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to the community—versus $43 for the same $100 sale in a chain.

The initiative, launched in 2009, aims to “save the brick and mortars our nation is built on” by encouraging consumers to spend a total of $50 each month at three independent businesses.

According to the number crunchers, if half of the employed population followed that advice, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.

What’s your take on the “shop local” movement?  Will you patronize a small retailer this holiday season?

 

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  • Pop-ups
    My best wishes to those entrepreneurs making a go of it during these still challenging economic conditions. I was especially heartened to see "pop-ups" in long vacant storefronts downtown, like the small store on College Ave at Mass Ave, just around the corner from the restaurant 45 Degrees.

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  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

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